Haute SpotGeorgia Warner Is A Natural Born Talent
The granddaughter of Academy Award-winning designer and theater director Tony Walton, great-granddaughter of renowned “The Wizard of Oz” producer and film director Mervyn LeRoy, and great-great granddaughter of Warner Brothers Studios founder Harry Warner, Georgia Warner has been drawn to the family business since she was a child. In fact, she’s been acting professionally since she shared her first romantic on-screen kiss with Geoffrey the Giraffe in a “Toys R Us” commercial at the tender age of 1.
Fresh off a big year in 2018, the versatile young actress appeared as a fur-bikini-clad Buxom Princess Pam Pam in “Younger” with Sutton Foster, a very pregnant yet still drinking-and-smoking Serena in “The Deuce” and took a dramatic turn as a sexual assault victim on “Law & Order: SVU.” She’s also just wrapped her role as Lane in the premiere production of Lyle Kessler’s “House on Fire” for Palm Beach Dramaworks, which is tentatively heading to New York.
Aside from her screen appearances, East Enders might better know Warner—who is the daughter of local writer, radio host and Independent co-founder Bridget LeRoy and former Bay Street Theater sound designer Randy Freed—from her memorable performances at the Sag Harbor-based theater where she played the role of Curley’s Wife in “Of Mice and Men” and Margot in “The Diary of Anne Frank.”
As a child, Warner says she “spent many nights asleep under the sound board” at Bay Street, which was founded by her extended family members Emma Walton Hamilton and Stephen Hamilton, with Sybil Christopher. The place is filled with special memories, she adds. And to this day, there’s an honorary flower-upholstered chair there for her great-grandfather, and some special signs, straight from Georgia herself.
“If you walk behind and under where some of the seats are, you can still see from masking tape leftover from my secret hideout,” she says. They say “things like ‘all are welcome here, except boys and spiders.’”
Warner has also spent some unforgettable time on the Guild Hall stage in East Hampton. There she played the sharp-tongued Helen in “The Cripple of Inishmaan” and undertook the daunting and daring role of Jill in “Equus,” which was directed by her grandfather and starred Alec Baldwin, and where she appeared completely unclothed alongside a similarly bare Sam Underwood.
“Honesty, the nudity didn’t phase me much, and I don’t know what that says about me,” she laughs, adding that she approached the scene as her character’s nakedness and not her own. “Like, well this is my horse-groomer costume, this is my naked costume …”
So far in her young life, the actress has had an eclectic career, for sure, with parts ranging from the ingénue to the leading lady to the villain, to her favorite— the plucky comic relief, she says. That range has afforded her the opportunities to work with such estimable talent as Baldwin, Mercedes Ruehl, Harris Yulin, Martha Plimpton, David Hyde Pierce, Peter Boyle, Richard Kind, David Eigenberg, Elisabeth Moss, and many more.
But just because she’s got serious acting chops, and comes from a showbiz dynasty, that doesn’t mean that starring roles just fall into her lap.
“That ‘I’m never going to book another job again’ feeling that all actors get during stretches of unemployment,” is a real thing, she says, adding that her dream roles would be to play Maggie the Cat in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and as a series regular on a great television show.
However, Warner knows that there are no guarantees in life, no matter where you come from or what you’re bringing to the table. Case in point, as a child, she auditioned for a local Stages production of “The Wizard of Oz” here in the Hamptons. One would think she’d be a shoe-in for the lead. But it was not to be.
“I’m not sure if I was angling for Dorothy … If I know myself, I was probably gunning for the Wicked Witch. I love a good outsider. But I wound up being cast as Munchkin Number 11,” she recalls, with a laugh. “When my mom thinks I might be getting a big head, she’ll say ‘listen, Munchkin Number Eleven.’ That’s hilariously humbling. “